Surviving The Entrepreneurial Rollercoaster
(And How To Ride It Forever)
Being an entrepreneur comes with many challenges, but one that somehow still comes as a surprise to everyone is this: we all struggle.
An easy comparison would be between a rollercoaster and entrepreneurship; they both have their ups and downs — and we all get through it. #YouAreNotAlone
Unfortunately, 66% of small businesses fail—and it’s not for the reasons you think …
Failure was not due to outside factors — they were internal. They weren’t economic, but emotional. The unexpected and terrifying emotional roller coaster of an entrepreneur is actually one of the greatest factors in why most quit their adventure early (even though their passion still feels full-force) and ultimately fail.
It can be very isolating when you’re an entrepreneur, regardless of whether you’ve been doing this for 5 years or 5 minutes. This is why we felt it was super important to share a few tips with you in order to make this ride one that you’ll want to ride forever.
For starters, it’s important to realize (and understand) that you are not unique if you feel as though you’re struggling. All of us are at some point, as that’s just the nature of the path of entrepreneurship. We all have those days where we feel as though nothing is going right, we’re failing ourselves, we’re failing our clients, and that it’ll never get better. But if you stick with it long enough, embrace and feel those emotions and allow them to pass, you will get through it!
Whoever said that you need to keep your personal and business lives separate clearly never ran a business. If you are capable of keeping your personal emotions completely out of your business, you’re a superhero. (No joke!) That being said, the majority of us will allow our emotions to creep into our business world — and have an impact. We are human. We feel emotions and they typically affect us, and by extension, our business. But that’s okay. If anything, use those emotions to create more meaningful relationships with those you work with, lean on a friend, team member or co-worker (in real life or virtually) and work through whatever it is that’s troubling you.
Also – and this is extra IMPORTANT — allow yourself to take time when you need it.
Many of us work ourselves way too hard and spread ourselves way too thin. And we are way too hard on ourselves and need to set aside more space to take time to reset and recharge. If you are in a valley of the entrepreneurial rollercoaster, you need to give yourself some grace (by cutting yourself some slack!) and time to come out of it — there’s no magic pill or roadmap or switch to instantly return you to your “normal” state. Eventually, you will begin to realize your ebb and flow routine, allowing you to plan around it, too. If you know you’re coming up to a time where you typically get hit with #AllTheFeels, schedule yourself a lighter workload for a few days (or even perhaps a week) so that you don’t overcommit yourself and hit burnout.
Having the right mindset can be tough somedays, so while we’re on this topis, here’s some tips I try my best to live by …
- Optimism is vital: Face everything with the confidence of a child in a batman t-shirt.
- Don’t fall in love with your idea: Test before you take, listen well and be willing to adapt.
- Learn by doing: Education is everything, but you also need experience to back you up.
- Revisit your vision daily: Without focus on the journey your vision/goals will fall off the ride.
- Always be in motion: Think about how you can provide value at every single turn.
- Hack your highs and lows: Mental toughness is the ability to persevere and overcome.
- Remove the box: Encourage your creativity through comparison (but not to your competitors).
And if all else fails or you just feel like your roller coaster is going too fast and you’re going to hurl, remember this quote …
If nothing else, there are a few tricks we’ve picked up along the way that are quite helpful and that we would like to share:
- Block out one day a week to work on your own business or do some personal/business development. Having this day in your schedule will also allow for a “rest” if you need it, knowing you aren’t missing any client deadlines.
- Plan 1 to 2 days per month as “off” days — outside of your internal business days. Knowing you have even one vacay day to look forward to can help navigate the rollercoaster from hitting massive back-to-back loops too quickly.
- Keep a running list of “easy” jobs that you can do on those days that you are struggling. These can range from watching a video of a TedTalk, reading a blog post that piqued your curiosity, or organizing the folders on your computer. This way you’re still getting things done and not completely shutting down, while also letting your brain have the rest it desperately needs.
- Write in your journal — every.single.day. We love ones that prompt us with questions and only take a few minutes, but it allows us to get our thoughts and feelings out of our head and onto paper, which have made a great difference for us.
- Every morning, incorporate some form of movement into your routine. Whether it’s gentle yoga or going for a run before the craziness of the morning starts, it’ll clear your head and help set the tone for the day.
- By having a few friends (or acquaintances!) who are also entrepreneurs will be a great help, as they might be able to help you through whatever struggle you’re currently dealing with. It’s hard for those in the corporate world to fully understand what we go through, so we suggest seeking out a few that you can truly connect with and bounce ideas, challenges, and wins with.
- Setting monthly, quarterly, and annual goals will also provide a nice nudge in the behind for when you need it. Having them written out where you see them every day will help push you towards hitting them. We do recommend, however, not to overload your goals as that’ll just guide you to a quicker burnout. Having 3 to 5 per month is a great start and if that seems too easy – add some more or make them harder!
- If after all of this you still wake up some mornings knowing you simply cannot function for whatever reason, know that that’s completely okay. Entrepreneurs don’t end up taking many sick days unless we’re on the bathroom floor or in the hospital, so allowing yourself the proper time you need to recover is important. It’s also crucial to understand that you don’t have to be physically sick to take your own sick days — if you just “need a day”, that’s totally acceptable.
No one has ever said that being an entrepreneur is “easy” or “sexy” or always joyful.
In fact, it’s often harder than most corporate jobs and can be one of the biggest challenges you will ever face. But by keeping consistent, keeping a positive mindset, and seeing through the ups and downs will be the biggest reward.
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We get it, you’re a mom first! But your dream of becoming an entrepreneur is not going away … It wasn’t until recently when people began coming to you with questions or asking you for help that you started to seriously think about starting your own business. You want to start a business, but you worry if you have enough time to balance being an entrepreneur with being a mom. You have a burning desire to build your own empire, but you also have responsibilities.
Well … we completely understand and been there done that. It’s time to take the leap of faith and bet on yourself, beyond life as a mom. Because we don’t want you to do, is one day look back … and wished you’d done things differently. #Balance!
Our site will be a resource-filled space for all moms who have ever wanted to start their own small business working from home OR for any mom who already HAS a business but is struggling to grow. So, begin pursuing your passion(s) and become your own boss today by popping on over to https://thesmallbusinessmom.com/ to get started!